Page 1 - Stuart Exposure - August '23
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VOL. 25  NO. 8                                                                             AUGUST 2023

      Wounded Veterans Relief Fund Leads Statewide Effort

      To Provide Dental Care To Veterans In Florida

         Driven by their mission                         concern, as poor oral health can lead to a range of serious   include over 60 independent dental offices statewide, The
      to improve veteran dental                          health and mental issues, placing more burdens on our   Stiles-Nicholson Foundation, Nobel Biocare, and Quantum
      care throughout the state                          military members who already face challenges when   Foundation.
      of  Florida,  the  Wounded                         transitioning back to civilian life.                 “We are thrilled to be the first organization in the state
      Veterans Relief Fund                                  The connection between poor dental hygiene and   to provide this much-needed service to veterans,” Durkee
      (WVRF) is the first nonprofit                      mental health issues is evident. According to the American   said. “We believe that every veteran deserves access to
      in the state to lead the                           Academy of Family Physicians, 60 percent of veterans with   quality dental care, and we are committed to working with
      statewide effort to offer                          mental health conditions have fair to poor oral health, with   our partners to make this a reality.”
      free critical dental care to                       33 percent finding it difficult to eat due to dental issues.      WVRF has already funded $332,419.74 in veteran dental
      veterans who are unable to afford dental care and do not   Poor oral health affects veterans’ overall health, including   support in 2023 and has donated over $1 million to veteran
      have access to care through the United States Department   their mental health. According to the VA, up to 50 percent   dental care since the start of the program in 2021. Florida
      of Veterans Affairs (VA) or private insurance.     of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have   State House Bill 635: Dental Services for Veterans was
         According to the VA, only 15 percent of veterans receive   been diagnosed with a mental health disorder associated   approved and signed by the Florida Governor, and now can
      VA dental care, which places veterans into benefits classes   with substance use disorders (SUDS), and 63 percent with   give this Florida nonprofit the needed funding in order to
      based on military service history and current health and   SUDS also met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder   extend its dental program to a larger number of qualified
      living situations. Specific benefits are assigned to each   (PTSD). With the increasing number of veterans suffering
      class, meaning not all veterans may receive comprehensive   from mental health disorders, the VA reports approximately   Wounded Veterans Relief Fund on page 4
      dental care. Only veterans who are 100 percent disabled or   17 veterans die by suicide every day.
      sustained an oral injury while serving are given dental care      This veteran-led nonprofit is filling in the gaps when it
      at the VA.                                         comes to veteran dental care by partnering with oral health   Helping People
         WVRF Executive Director and Army Veteran Michael   professionals and clinics across the state to provide veterans
      Durkee said the low VA dental care statistic is a critical   with access to the critical dental care they deserve. Partners
      The Children’s Museum Of The Treasure                                                                 Succeed’s Annual

      Coast Welcomes George Sanders                                                                         Meeting Celebrates

         The Children’s Museum                                                   the Explorer’s Gallery with a   Successful Year
      of the  Treasure Coast is                                                  new Flight Simulator exhibit
      proud to announce that                                                     and Submarine exhibit, and   By Jackie Holfelder
      George Sanders has joined                                                  building a new Science        The annual meeting of Helping People Succeed is
      the Board of Directors.                                                    Center and Planetarium.    always filled with business, good news and recognition of
         Sanders, a Virginia Tech                                                  “The Children’s Museum   key people who have continued to make the nonprofit the
      and Nova Southeastern                                                      is thrilled to welcome George   vital organization it has been for more than half a century.
      University graduate, joins                                                 Sanders to the leadership      This year’s June 28 version was no exception.
      the Board of Directors after                                               team and Board of Directors.   Suzy Hutcheson, president/CEO, provided details
      retiring from a finance and                                                George’s experience, talents   of a successful year and the accomplishments of the
      accounting career where a                                                  and forward thinking will   Baby Steps, Behavioral Health Services, Community
      majority of his skills were                                                help launch the museum     Connections and Employment Options, Healthy Families
      based on investigations,                                                   into its next chapter, ” said   programs as well as the administrative, fiscal and
      leadership and financial responsibility. Sanders is also a   Tammy Calabria, the Children’s Museum of the Treasure   technology departments and the work of the Helping
      long-term resident of Martin County with his wife, Deborah   Coast’s executive director.              People Succeed Foundation.
      Sanders, and three children, Zack, Lexi, and Josh.  About The Children’s Museum Of The Treasure Coast
         Sanders’ resume  also includes his service on other      The mission of The Children’s Museum of the Treasure
      community boards such as the PTA of Palm City Elementary,   Coast is to offer children and families a place to explore and
      serving as president and treasurer; Boy Scouts of America   learn through hands-on activities, educational programs
      Troop 822, serving as scoutmaster and assistant den leader;   and cultural experiences. The museum opened in 2008 and
      and the vice president of the Homeowners Association of   serves almost 50,000 visitors each year at its Indian Riverside
      Hammock Creek.                                    Park location. The Children’s Museum is an inspiring
        Sanders joins The Children’s Museum with guidance and   physical space and dynamic mobile outreach delivering
      expertise as the museum launches a new vision: completing   exceptional educational and experiential opportunities
                                                                                 for all children and adults;
                                                                                 captivating imaginations
                                                                                 and developing real-world
                                                                                 skills through playful
                                                                                 learning experiences. If you
                                                                                 would like to get involved
                                                                                 or learn more about the    Suzy Hutcheson, Ann Berner, Ann Mehling and Janet Cooper
                                                                                 museum, including special
                                                                                 events, please visit www.  Helping People Succeed’s Annual Meeting on page 3
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